Venice Beach is known for many things, great beaches, funky shops, beautiful views, tasty food, and of course, nightlife. This laid-back neighborhood has many excellent choices, whether you’re looking to take in the salty air on a patio or rooftop deck, warm up in the sunshine, or catch up with friends. This town is unlike anywhere else and is sure to leave you with some great memories.
We all could definitely use a drink after the year we’ve had. In 2020, we had to choose to focus on keeping our sanity with self-care, mostly at home. Whether you’ve learned how to make your favorite cocktail, figured out Zoom, tried meditation for the first time, or tried the latest Tik Tok dance, we can all say we’ve developed some excellent coping skills. Do whatever it takes to be happy, and one of these days, we’ll be back enjoying a night on the town. (And if you’re used to the nightlife and can’t sleep, try taking an at home cortisol test to measure those critical sleep and stress hormones.)
The pandemic has forced many bars to adapt quickly to outdoor and limited seating, socially distanced tables, and closures. “Sometimes it feels like our industry is used as the rudder steering this ship; no other industry has been impacted so tumultuously as much as ours has,” Sam Trude of Great White in Venice told Eater LA. That doesn’t mean it will last forever, and we’ll hopefully be back to our new normal soon. In the meantime, check out our top suggestions for fun and get ready for a well-earned good time.
Find Your Vibe
We all have our style and feel we enjoy experiencing while having a cocktail. If you’re looking for a great girls night or romantic patio, check out Venice Beach Wines. It offers a great wine selection, as well as tasty small plates to share. A great happy hour spot after the beach is Venice Whaler Bar & Grill. It’s spacious patio, ocean views, and crafty cocktails are well known among the locals. If breweries are your thing, swing by Firestone Walker Brewery for a craft beer flight, delicious burger, and ample space to catch up with friends. If you’re feeling brave, try the unique Nighthawk Breakfast Bar. Unlike anywhere you’ve been before, they provide tasty adult drink combinations with breakfast themes. The atmosphere is super fun and is an experience.
It’s hard to beat rooftop bars, especially when it comes to enjoying the sunset and views. The High Rooftop Lounge is a classy, open-air deck with genius specialty cocktails, lite bites, local DJs, and killer boardwalk views. Many enjoy the old school dive bar with a more mellow feel. Hinano Cafe is a funky establishment that’s been going strong since 1969. With a great selection of beer, pool tables, and a vintage vibe, this dive bar is a great choice. Speakeasies have become all the rage, and Old Lightning, a tiki-themed venue, is worth the ingenuity to get in with unique cocktails.
If you’re looking for a hidden gem, check out The Lincoln. The space is attractive, the cocktails are fancy, and the patio is ideal. It’s a classic, chic industrial bar with lots of character. If upscale is more your style, check out Neighbor’s bar and breezy patio, a real feel of California meets Anthropology. Their cocktails taste great after a day at the beach, and their small plates hit the spot. Another excellent casual date night spot is James’ Beach. With killer margaritas and a chill beach vibe, it’s sure to set the mood. With so many options, tastes, and styles, anyone can find what suits them.
Music To Your Ears
Venice Beach has a deep history of music. The Doors were formed in the area around 1965, Jane’s Addiction and Suicidal Tendencies in the 1980s, and founder of Lollapalooza, Perry Farrell, was a resident. Concerts in the Los Angeles area, a global hub for live music, have come to a halt amid the pandemic, as is the case with cities worldwide. However, the local jazz quartet, “Mid-Century Jazz, ” is getting creative and bringing the jazz club to homes across the region. “As all venues are currently closed due to COVID, we can duplicate the jazz club in the client’s private home,” said vocalist Andrea Comsky. The four-member jazz quartet performs sets just as one would find in a jazz club. They’re careful of the distance between band members, the audience and try to take all the precautions for a safe experience.
When it comes to discovering Venice Beach nightlife, there is no lack of great choices. It’s truly unlike anywhere else in the world. Remember, with various restrictions changing daily, make sure to call ahead before heading out. Venice’s Beaches’ history, eclectic feel, and interesting characters will not disappoint. Cheers!